`Tequila Party’ fights for Hispanic community in US

By Maria Leon, IANS
Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tucson (US), Dec 4 (IANS/EFE) The new “Tequila Party” in the US has ambitions to become a national political movement promoting a platform of initiatives that benefit the Hispanic community, according to one of its prime movers.

Fernando Romero, activist and president of the nonpartisan Nevada-based group Hispanics in Politics, told EFE by phone that the Tequila Party will not be a political party.

It will rather function as a bipartisan movement that promotes a Hispanic agenda, something beyond the intentions of the Republican conservatives of the Tea Party, which has become an influential electoral force.

Though in some places the Tequila Party has been presented as the Hispanics’ Tea Party, Romero insists that the movement is trying to promote the principal demands of the Latino community in a bipartisan manner, without leaning either toward the Republicans or the Democrats.

Romero, one of the chief architects of the idea, expressed his annoyance that, after he announced the idea weeks ago, Republicans George Harris and Irma Aguirre presented documents to form the Tequila Party of Nevada.

“They stole my idea,” the activist said, explaining that the Tequila Party in principle will be a movement within the Republican and Democratic parties. Later, local organisations will be established across the US.

“This will obviously take more time than if we had decided to launch it as a new political party nationwide,” said Romero, who has been analysing the possibility of starting a political party for 11 years.

What is important in his opinion is that the initiative continue and grow, though he hasn’t lost hope that in the future it could become a “third option” for Hispanics.

With regard to the couple who registered the name “Tequila Party of Nevada”, Romero said that in the coming weeks he will weigh the possibility of filing suit against them.

The activist said that the idea grew out of the frustration and the feeling that exists among the Hispanic community in the US that both the Democratic Party and the Republicans have forgotten them.

“We saw that after the elections last November, both parties left us Latinos to pick up the pieces,” said Romero, in whose state voters elected its first Hispanic governor, Brian Sandoval.

He said that there was a great deal of disappointment that President Barack Obama did not fulfill his campaign promise of pushing immigration reform, a possibility that looks even more remote now that the Republicans are taking control of the House of Representatives next month.

“I believe that we Hispanics must do something to send a strong message and work for the good of our community across the country,” Romero said.

He said that the movement would function in a way similar to the Tea Party inside the Republican Party, which based its ascent on the dissatisfaction of conservatives with the economy and the growing government deficit.

“We know that in our history there once existed a third party - I’m talking about the Raza Unida Party at the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the ’70s - but unfortunately it never got anywhere,” Romero said.


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